Field work

For many of us, going to the field is what we like most about Dipterology (the study of flies). The chance to find new species, experience different environments and cultures, and more than anything, the opportunity to slow down; these are the rewards of the field.

I am on an airplane to Brazil to work with my colleagues Dalton Amorim and his PHD student, Danilo Ament. We have a long-term collaboration based on shared work on phorid phylogeny, thoracic morphology, and tropical inventory. Camaraderie is another pleasant aspect of field work.

This time, we are going to Rondonia, in the southern Amazon. It promises to be a trip of amazing discoveries, as very little collecting has taken place there, other than at Rancho Grande, a formerly popular collecting site that apparently doesn’t have any forest any more. We are going to stay at another area, called Monte Negro, and make excursions from there. Every day (I hope), I will post about our finds, to give the flavor of a tropical Diptera expedition.

For now, I’m just trying to endure the long flights…

A wasp-mimicing flower fly from my last field trip in Costa Rica

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